Is the Develop module falling behind the times? (Capture One)

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Hoggy

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I decided to try out Capture One Pro 8 recently. It had nothing to do with the recent Adobe fiasco, as I wasn't really affected at all by it - in fact the new HDR improvements were a boon.

At first the interface seems kludgy, and in ways I still think that - like some windows not staying with the maximized application, and following you to other programs (as if it turned 'stay on top'). However, I'm finding that otherwise the interface is highly customizable.

But anyways, on to the important issue - the image adjustments.
While this is extremely preliminary, the starting image quality seems much better - and with an Auto-adjust that actually works most times.
Yet mainly, several tools seem to be light years ahead of LR. Like the color adjustments, levels (in addition to curves) and many clarity options in particular. There also seems to be masking and layers support as well, but I haven't gotten that far on understanding those yet. It's also much faster overall (though tool tab switching is rather slow, even for previously visited tabs), and seems to use only 1 type of preview - smart previews - with adjustable size (2560 default) from 640 to 5120.
And judging by what I saw from a test online (I still need to check for myself), LR may be behind in the noise reduction department as well.. The tests I saw showed DXO was better, and COP-7 on top, with more retained details. Although, there are fewer controls in COP8 than LR.

However, the downsides are many to me. Like no 'alt/option previews', no integration with publishing services, no raw-HDR/panorama creation, loss of integration with PS, and no snapshots, per se, that goes hand-in-hand with not being able to write to DNG-xmp for a belt-and-suspenders snapshots backup - and no DNG image data verification. And I just can't shake the feeling that LR seems much better for DAM purposes - although maybe it's that I'm just not use to COP-8. EDIT: There is also seemingly no way to change what the color labels mean - which I took for granted in LR.

I understand that such develop options might make the program a bit harder to learn for new users, but I can't help but wonder if at some point there should be an 'enable advanced features' checkbox in preferences to deal with that.

I'm curious as to what other people might think...
 
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I think Capture One has better default settings, but the workflow in Lightroom is much much better.
 
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Again, the out-of-the-box default look is better. And one can also pick out other good features - I like the focus mask. I often switch to it for individual images which prove difficult in Lr and sometimes get a better starting point, which turns the picture into something worth further effort.

Tethering features have always been very good, which is partly why it has a strong following in studio-based photography.

Printing and other output (except to Photoshop) has always been weak, reflecting how it dates from the pre Aperture / pre Lightroom era when we were happy (hm) stringing together a workflow from half a dozen different apps.

The catalogues and sessions thing is a DAM mess.

I've not looked recently at how it handles DNGs, but it used to be brain dead. If you have a NEF/CR2 and a DNG made from it, they don't look identical in C1.

I am not 100% sure of the detail, but there are some ethical problems, like not supporting files from cameras which compete with C1's owner, PhaseOne. If they can prevent you from processing Pentax 645Z files, what other stunts will they try?

Overall, it is a good raw converter, a bit fiddly, but powerful. OTOH you can get more done in Lightroom. ie more images finished to the highest standard you personally can manage.

John
 
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Hoggy

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Yeah, as you guys say, the workflow scenario seems to be for crap (and now I know why). I thought it was just me not fully understanding the program. It could be useful to keep around though, because it really does have great quality - and I'm loving the clarity options and [advanced] levels. And I don't really shoot all that much right now.

And yes, the DNG support is even worse. They've only JUST got, in the current 8.3.3 I think, DNG 1.4 reading capability. Plus, for my Pentax cams they barely have any lens correction profiles available, whereas Adobe pretty much has all possible combos. On the one hand, the DNG issue is a curse for me, cause I'm all DNG all the time - I like storing snapshots within the files themselves for belt-and-suspenders backup with image integrity verification built in. Yet on another, that could complement LR in that I could have images in COP only with no chance of corrupting LR settings.
The lack of history is also 2-sided.. On one hand there is no chance to go back to a specific step without a lot of undos.. Yet on the other that kind of frees me, as I used to worry about how long the history would get - and I still find that inherent holdover even though I now usually erase the history to keep the catalog smaller, as I've found out that every single step is really an unsaved snapshot.
 

chris02

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Also just started Cap One on a trial basis, after such a long time with LR it fees like a steep learning curve. Also disappointed that my colour flags did not import. Anyway a few days left on the trial so not given up yet!
 

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If you use enough software you will find that each package generally has some things it does well, and some software fits personal styles better than others. None are perfect; all have bugs.
I used CO Pro for years, and for quite a few years in parallel with Lightroom. I switched to LR full time a few years ago from CO 7 after they finally abandoned Media Pro (their DAM) and after they introduced and updated their new catalog.
CO has a number of positives, as does LR. I got along just fine with their interface. I liked the way I could customize the workflow to fit my style. CO's default values are quite good, and their "Auto" is excellent and makes a great starting point. CO handles local color mods quite well. It handles skin tones really well. If I were a professional portrait shooter, and shooting a lot in a studio, I'd probably still be using it full time. But I am not.

I found that the pluses of LR far outweighed the negatives, especially for the way I shoot. Their interaction with PhotoShop and the DAM is a major driver for me. While I am post processing, I often switch back and forth between Library and Develop; with the addition of panos and HDR to LR I do that a lot. And I am always adding new keywords as I process.

I think CO has copied a few thing from LR over the years. I wish LR would look a bit closer at CO and copy some of their strong features.
It is certainly worth the time to try a free evaluation of CO and to see how it fits both your shooting style and your working style.
 

sizzlingbadger

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I use both. CO has some great develop features that make more sense (to me) than LR's. LR is a much better DAM and has better output capabilities. Put CO's raw engine in the LR development module and I'd be very happy :)
 

Hoggy

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I use both. CO has some great develop features that make more sense (to me) than LR's. LR is a much better DAM and has better output capabilities. Put CO's raw engine in the LR development module and I'd be very happy :)

That's how I'm starting to feel, too. I'm thinking Adobe has gotten rather complacent with process 2012. They might want to start adding more options there, like process 2016-C1 or 2016-DXO. :) I really LOVE the clarity options and granularity with C1.

I was able to check out a noisy high-iso pic (taken at night handled with G7X-6400, not that great a picture). I think LR did a better job at reducing the luminance noise on this one example - and I was able to use a noise(+) adj brush. The COP-8 looked sharper though, even at the highest NR setting. So it might depend on the pattern of the noise that each camera may tend to produce.
EDIT: And now a 2nd one at 12800 on my Pentax K-30 - LR edges out COP-8 here too. Although of course, I admit I may not be working with COP-8 to it's fullest.
 
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happycranker

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I have the free Sony version of C1 and although missing quite a few things is has allowed me to play a bit and see what the front end does and I like what I see for ARW files anyway!
 

Hoggy

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ok.. I've been playing around more with C1, and while it does have some nice features... The more I follow into forums and such, it seems like more and more of a religion where people have their heads buried in the sand - to the point of some group-think snobbery. Just kind of leaves a bad taste if you know what I mean.

Like constant talk of 'is that a job of a raw converter', or especially the constant and troublesome anti-DNG railing. :crazy: Like others have said, it really speaks back to the day of when people needed 20 different programs.

Still, I wish LR would allow choices of demosaicing algorithm and it had that C1 color editor - and most especially the array of clarity algorithms of C1. Also wish LR had the lens-blur-removing that DX0 has.. Although I think those last 2 are pretty much the same thing.

Ugh.. But anyways - I just wanted to get that off my chest on a forum with LR people (myself mostly included). :sneaky:
 
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ok.. I've been playing around more with C1, and while it does have some nice features... The more I follow into forums and such, it seems like more and more of a religion where people have their heads buried in the sand - to the point of some group-think snobbery. Just kind of leaves a bad taste if you know what I mean.

Like constant talk of 'is that a job of a raw converter', or especially the constant and troublesome anti-DNG railing. :crazy: Like others have said, it really speaks back to the day of when people needed 20 different programs.

Still, I wish LR would allow choices of demosaicing algorithm and it had that C1 color editor - and most especially the array of clarity algorithms of C1. Also wish LR had the lens-blur-removing that DX0 has.. Although I think those last 2 are pretty much the same thing.

Ugh.. But anyways - I just wanted to get that off my chest on a forum with LR people (myself mostly included). :sneaky:

Strange while I use Lightroom as my main application for working with my raw files and Photoshop to some extent I have always felt that the vast majority of Adobe users have never even used other software options. Does that mean they are religious or just followers?
 

Hoggy

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Strange while I use Lightroom as my main application for working with my raw files and Photoshop to some extent I have always felt that the vast majority of Adobe users have never even used other software options. Does that mean they are religious or just followers?

Don't know.. Just thinkin' out loud... Though I do get that feeling when trying out C1.
 
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Strange while I use Lightroom as my main application for working with my raw files and Photoshop to some extent I have always felt that the vast majority of Adobe users have never even used other software options. Does that mean they are religious or just followers?

I also visited some C1 forums. I think C1 adherents are much more fervent. While the Lr forums I have been in, tend to be myopic but not as fervent that Lr is the only answer. Now, the Lr forums can be rather rambunctious towards Adobe when they touch something which has existed for years....

Tim
 

Hoggy

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I think part of it has to do with the underdog syndrome.. I had it myself for the Commodore Amiga, after the C64 - but I think the C64 was pretty popular IIRC.
Even though C1 is double the price and sell medium format cameras for buko bucks, I still think it's not as big a company as Adobe. So the userbase might have a stronger tendency to protect the 'underdog'.

Still, it makes learning about C1 a troublesome and frustrating experience. I get the impression that they fell way behind the times and are now making up for it with a more rapid release schedule. Possibly even taking advantage of the recent messy LR 6.2 release (of which I was actually positively affected by).

I do like C1's starting point better, whereas LR tends to look muddy - and C1 has an Auto that just plain works. But so far I've been able to replicate or exceed the result in LR. And in the few tests of high ISO shots I've done, LR's noise reduction seems much better.

Lr's PV2012 is fine as far as usage goes.. I think the biggest thing that would make it better though is different demosaicing algorithms and more micro-contrast options.
 
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